Want to study in the US? You’ve got to start somewhere! Join our Google Hangout to learn how to find a US school that is within your educational budget. The Hangout allows you to ask questions directly to the experts or to other students interested in the same topic. You’ll receive valuable links to resources and will be able to inquire to schools directly from the InternationalStudent.com School Search.
Why: We’ll touch on things to consider when evaluating different schools as well as financial aid options. You can join the discussion by asking questions and having them answered during the presentation, live!
What: “Find A US School You Can Afford” Google Hangout
For any international student considering taking out a student loan for studying abroad it is vital to know what APR is and how it affects them. APR stand for annual percentage rate. Understanding the APR to your loan can be a bit confusing, as most people tend to confuse APR and interest rate. The APR on a loan is expressed as a percent point, which is generally higher than the interest rate. APR gives more of the total cost of a loan including the interest rate and the costs to borrow from the bank. The APR was mandated by the government in order to stop bad loan practices from banks. While students may get a great low interest rate, there may be many hidden costs that offset the great interest rates. Since every lender uses the same calculation to determine the APR that they will offer, the APR can be used to compare the real costs of loans from several different lenders. When shopping for a student loan, it is a good idea to compare the different APRs being offered by lenders. Here are a few tips to find the best APR while also getting an understanding of the expectations of the APR and your interest rate. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are planning on studying in the United States as an international student, you may need an international student loan. These loans are available only if you have a US cosigner. International students do not have a credit history in the US and so banks and lenders require a cosigner with good credit history to be able to approve and extend credit to the student. Finding a US cosigner is an important concept to be aware of – and we’re here to help! Join our Google Hangout this Friday to learn all about it. Read the rest of this entry »
All international students find out during their course of study that money matters. Having enough money to pay for all the necessary expenses is an important facet of international student life. Students must budget and keep an eye on their finances to ensure that they do not spend too much, but also that they make the most of their time abroad. So where do most international students spend their money, and how can they appropriately budget?
Living expenses: International students find that the bulk of their costs are spent on their living expenses. This includes rent, water, electricity, internet, cable, and other housing expenses that can add up quickly. Be sure to think about these monthly costs and make your decisions wisely as these are typically services you contract for a designated period of time.
Food: International students have to eat too! Buying groceries each week can be expensive, so plan ahead and try to use up everything you purchase. While eating at a restaurant can be fun, it is often more expensive (not to mention, not very healthy!) so be sure to consider how frequently and which restaurant you want to indulge in. To save money, meal plans or a strict budget can do the trick!
Entertainment: The opportunity to get out and have some fun with your friends is paramount to an international student’s social life. But these costs can also add up. Trips, movies, sports games, bars and shopping can get expensive if you’re not careful. International students should budget out monthly “fun money” to enjoy themselves and relax outside of class – just watch out and make sure to account for it.
Other bills: While this category is very broad, there are a number of other items that you’ll need to consider depending on your personal needs. You will likely need a cell phone which come with monthly fees and can costs hundred of dollars depending on the cell phone plan. You may also find that you need a car to get around, which can add on gas charges, car insurance or even monthly finance payments. Credit card bills and gym memberships will go right on top of those costs as well so be careful about what contracts you sign and make sure that you can keep up financially!
Course materials and supplies: Next to tuition and room/board, course materials and supplies are one of the most expensive fees in an international student’s life. Students must pay for their books, software, lab fees, and perhaps even athletic fees. Some classes may even require that you have special materials beyond the normal pen and paper such as a specialized laptop computer or calculator. Oh, and don’t forget about parking permits!
With a well thought out budget and some planning and caution international students can avoid spending too much money and running up there bills. While students may have a few things to spend money, sacrifice and financial responsibility will always pay off!
Need more help budgeting for school? Check out our resource on How To Budget where you will find more great tips along with a spreadsheet to start budgeting for the next school year!